I’ve posted a few times about how I fixed my old iBook and some old iPods. One of the sites that I have purchased parts from and have used as a resource is iFixit. Last week they posted their Self Repair Manifesto.
If you’ve ever been frustrated that an electronic device that is only a couple of years old has died on you for one reason or another, go over and read it. The manifesto is an attack on the constant obsoleting of electronic products from one year to the next and the way you are now forbidden from repairing your own device without voiding the terms of the warranty for the device.
I realize that not everyone is comfortable repairing their own home electronics. Even in the heyday of muscle cars, not everyone was taking apart their car’s engines and rebuilding them. But lots of people did and many people did their own routine maintenance like changing the oil or replacing the spark plugs on their car.
As cars have become more complex, with a lot of electronic controls, few people these days can or will maintain their own car. Error codes are huge deal. When the maintenance light comes on, no mechanic can turn it off. You HAVE to go to the nearest dealer for your particular brand of car. Of course, cars are expected to work longer than electronic devices. Most iPods won’t last three years. At home I’m using a 5-disc CD player and receiver that are ten years old, and still working.
There are many repairs that are beyond the skill of most people. But swapping in a new screen or battery or hard drive on an electronic device (be it an MP3 player, laptop, phones, or e-reader) should not be made so difficult. And doing so yourself should not automatically void your warranty. Especially in a year in which e-readers are expected to be a big Holiday Season hit, and the use of these kinds of devices has become ubiquitous.